The Modi factor.

Why Congress lost Chhattisgarh

Party’s cynical politics undermines very reason voters backed it 5 years ago

Prashun Bhaumik | New Delhi | 4 December, 2023 | 06:00 PM

The Bharatiya Janata Party is all set to storm back to power in Chhattisgarh, having registered its best-ever electoral performance in the young central Indian state. As of 9 pm on Sunday, the Hindutva party’s vote share (46.3%) was over four percentage points higher than the incumbent Congress (42.2%) in what was largely a bipolar election. In terms of seats, the imminent victory is even more impressive: 54 to the Congress’s 35. Yet, a closer examination of the mandate – the spatial distribution of seats, for one – and the factors that appear to have shaped it makes one thing fairly clear: the verdict is not so much an endorsement of the BJP as it is a rejection of the Congress government.